I read in F1 Racing that drivers apparently do go through dope testing.Rubens Barrichello and Mimmo Schiattarella both failed it in 1995 but it wasn’t serious as I think it was cold remedies.Tomas Enge though lost his F3000 championship in 2002 because I think he had cannabis or something in his system.
The FIA randomly tests drivers for drugs in many of the sports it sanctions, including F1. It’s generally thought that drugs that enhance performance in other sports would be of little utility in F1, which is why there haven’t been any cases of F1 drivers failing drugs tests.
Here is a GrandPrix.com story from 2007 about a GT driver who received a suspension on his licence after testing positive for a substance found in cocaine.
And don’t forget that Tomas Enge was stripped of his Formula 3000 title after he failed a drugs test and was found to have taken cannabis.
Just that it was a banned substance on whatever list the FIA uses (which may be equivalent to the IOC list, I’m not sure). Also as an illegal drug in most jurisdictions maybe the FIA wants their champions to set a certain example. Who knows?
James Hunt was often in a car after all night parties where much drink and drugs were taken. He also claimed to have driven at brands hatch after taking LSD( Murray Walker also talks of it in one of his books). Hardly a performance enhancing drug but possibly not the best thing to take before climbing into a race car.
The problem with drug testing is that there are no performance-enhancing drugs. There’s nothing out there that sharpens your reflexes or makes you more alert; at leasy, nothing that doesn’t have very visible side-effects. There’s no real need to test for drugs because the drivers are such fitness fanatics that they won’t even touch a cigarette.
That’s not so much a “problem,” PM, as a reason why F1 drivers don’t get caught using drugs. The FIA does test for them but, as you say, there is no drug that could conceivably enhance an F1 driver’s performance to a degree that made it worth taking. So they don’t.
I could see them benefiting from stimulants to enhance reflexes etc. I would suggest that the majority of drivers would drive with caffeine in their system. Amphetamines could potentially help performance for the drivers.